France – One Dead as Fierce Storms Wreak Havoc Across 65 Departments

Fierce thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail caused havoc across France from 03 June 2022. One person died in flood waters in Rouen.

The Ministry of Interior reported on 04 June 2022 that 65 departments across the country were affected by the severe weather. More than 3,500 interventions were carried out by firefighters. Damage to power infrastructure left thousands of homes without electricity. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said one person died in flood waters in Rouen. Across the country 15 people were injured, 2 of them seriously.

For the first time in over 20 years, Météo-France issued orange level alerts for 65 departments in the country. Many other departments were under yellow level alerts.

Meteo-France warnings 04 June 2022. Image: Meteo-France

Météo-France reported some areas saw a month’s worth of rain in just 12 hours to early 05 June 2022, including 74 mm which fell in Saint Yan (Saône et Loire), and 54 mm in Donnemarie-Dontilly (Seine et Marne). Vichy (Allier) recorded 57 mm and St Didier en Donjon (Allier) 54 mm, which is around 75% of the typical June rainfall.

Roads and streets were flooded up and down the country, including in areas of the capital, Paris, and in the northern departments of Yvelines, Seine-Maritime, Eure and Eure-et-Loir. Authorities warned that levels of the Eure River are dangerously high in Eure-et-Loir. Local media reported 2 bridges over river in the Mayenne department were washed away.

Meteo-France also reported around 50,000 lightning strikes in 24 hours to 05 June and winds of 106km/h in Saint Gervais d’Auvergne (Puy de Dôme) with several other areas also recorded wind gusts of over 100 km/h. Hail between 5cm to 8cm was reported in parts of Allier department.